A stronger focus on citizens and less on politics is the direction Georganna Sinkfield hopes to take the Georgia Secretary of State’s office if she is elected to the post in November.
Sinkfield wants to use her 28 years of legislative experience in the Georgia House of Representatives to bring, what she sees are, needed changes to the Secretary of State’s office. She feels her legislative background has allowed her to bring similar changes for everyday citizens of her Georgia district.
Her Republican opponent, Brian Kemp, was appointed to the office in early 2010 when Karen Handel, the former secretary of state, stepped down to run in the primary race for governor of Georgia.
In his time in office, Kemp sued the U.S. Justice Department because the federal government did not approve of the state’s method of verifying voter identities and citizenship statuses. Since the lawsuit, the government has given the green light to the state’s verification process.
Sinkfield did not support the federal lawsuit because she felt it challenged the rights of minority groups, the elderly, and the poor. She felt these groups face tougher barriers to prove their citizenship and identity. Her opposition ties into a larger strategy of turning the office toward more consumer and fraud issues, business creation, and job growth. With the lawsuit, she felt as though the role of Secretary of State became too politicized and not focused enough on people.
“We are really here to protect the citizens, help them maneuver through jobs and start businesses,” Sinkfield told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“This office has gotten too political, and we need to get back to that service,” she added.
In July, Sinkfield cruised to victory in the Democratic primary race against state Senator Gail Buckner. She now faces an incumbent with a hefty fundraising lead. The state’s overall electorate is GOP-friendly, with Republicans serving as governor and in both U.S. Senate seats. John McCain beat Barack Obama in Georgia by five percentage points in the 2008 presidential election.
On November 2, Georgia voters will decide between Sinkfield and Kemp, as well as Libertarian candidate David Chastain. If elected, Sinkfield will be the first African-American woman to serve as Georgia Secretary of State.